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At the origins of Ukraine
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At the origins of Ukraine
How a history begins can help us see how a war ends
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After more than a year and a half of war, it can be hard to imagine it ending.  And yet it can, and will.  The Ukrainians can win this war, provided that we do not let them down. 

What they cannot do is constantly remind us how important the war is. We have do some of that work for ourselves.

This history lecture, the Lax lecture delivered at Mt. Holyoke, is about the origins of Ukraine, in a deep sense.  It begins with the observation that the war is of global significance.  Its thesis is that this is true because, in a number of ways, the lands of Ukraine have been central to global history.

You'll maybe need earphones for this one.  The audio is not great.  And the subjects might not be familiar.  I am starting with the prehistory, working through the bronze age, and into the beginning of the historical record.  I am trying to make European and global history make more sense on the basis of what we can learn about Ukraine.

low-angle photography of The Parthenon during daytime
This is Athens. You’ll get the connection if you listen.

So take some time. 

In the constant blitz of particular events, I hope this will help.  I always find Ukrainian history extraordinarily interesting in itself.  And this deep history, if we attend to it a bit, also suggests what the war is about, and how it can be won.

My next book, which I am finishing now, will be about freedom.  After that I am hoping to write a brief but global history of Ukraine.  This gives you a very preliminary sense of some of what I am thinking about.  Thank you for coming along.

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The words we need for the politics of today.